I finally have some time to get those goddamn youtube videos to disply properly, and soem random graphical tidbits, here and there.
Re-launching July 5th!
24 Jun 2010
23 Jun 2010
22 Jun 2010
brought to you by Olivier de Vries at 12:27:00
Because it seems to be the only thing on MTV in the weekends, I often end up watching My Sweet Sixteen and despairing. But I'm not sure of it really is a sign of the times that these kids have a Texas-sized sense of entitlement. It seems a lot more likely that these are just original flavour spoiled brats. It's a classic story that there's supposedly something wrong with whichever generation is following you, but no one ever takes into account that a lot of what's wrong with them is the fact that they're teenagers and you're an adult. Data suggests that every new generation is always going to do at least a little better, because they have the work of previous generations to build on, so they'll be fine, as long as you don't screw up.
21 Jun 2010
brought to you by Olivier de Vries at 17:22:00
Well, Katy Perry sure did show Lady Gaga how to make a non-blasphemous video, it makes me think there might not even be a god at all. I've joked about things being sweet enough to give me diabetes, but this is the first time that's not hyperbole. I genuinely had a physical reaction to this song, hunger, nausea, salivation and disgust at the painful sexual metaphors, even less subtle than in the song. The whipped cream scene at the end is probably as close to pornography as is possible in a music video. If the food-porn axis didn't inherently turn me off, I might have found it titillating. But then, there's the emphasis on childishness and the abuse of well-loved children's game CandyLand. This is of course, another disturbing trend, where adult women pretend to be little girls to provoke some sort of sexual reaction in men, but it's been around forever. The terrible thing in this case is that Snoop Dogg and Katy Perry have somehow been convinced that some winking and irony is enough to make it palatable
Labels: Pop eats its darlings
19 Jun 2010
brought to you by Olivier de Vries at 18:05:00
When democracy was a relatively new idea in the 1700's, there were a number of arguments against it. The only one I believe that makes any sense is the most despised one. Giving people what they want is not the same as giving them what they need. Ordinary people were unfit to make decisions of life and death. Old-fashioned elitists were worried that democracy would eventually turn into an absurd popularity contest while no one actually governed, i.e., precisely what's happened. Unfortunately, elitism went hand in hand with racism, sexism and class consciousness in those days, but it isn't the same thing. In fact, there's nothing wrong with an elite based on merit. Anyone can become a member of this group by merely achieving something, thereby proving their fitness to have a greater say in things than ordinary people. That's not the general view, though. 'Elitists' is a swear word these days. It's associated with unearned privileges and contempt for ordinary people. How did that happen? The main reason is the way voters have literally switched sides. When universal suffrage was introduced in the early 20th century, socialist politicians suddenly had more power than at any other point in history. They set about securing more rights for the ordinary people than ever before, despite a financial crisis and a world war, setting the stage for the immense economic growth of the 50's and 60's. Despite their concerns for the common man, these politicians were often hardly common themselves. They fought for social justice on behalf of ordinary people. They succeeded admirably, essentially making themselves obsolete. Their way out of social irrelevancy was broadening their scope. All kinds of other groups needed help as well, and there were plenty of other social ills besides economic ones. These new ideas didn't appeal to their old voters, but attracted new ones, educated upper and middle class voters. On the right, traditional right wing parties seized the advantage and decided to appeal to the working classes. This is now the default setup for many western democracies. Two groups voting for parties that enact policies that disadvantage them, both run by members of the elite, who don't want to be seen as elitist and claim to give people what they ask for, rather than what they need, and actually give them what they want for themselves. Both sides lie and manipulate to maintain their positions, and the public is distracted with fluff and nonsense. The only group with a genuine representation of their opinions in politics, is business.